Simon Fernandez

Captain of one of the colony ships.


Captain Fernandez was a Portuguese navigator who captained a ship on both the 1585 and 1587 expeditions to Roanoke Island. On the 1587 trip he was supposed to make a quick stop at Roanoke to pick up the men left by Grenville in ’86 and then head on up to Chesapeake Bay to establish the new colony. Once this was done Capt. Fernandez was free to raid the Spanish as he saw fit.

Unfortunately Fernandez, nicknamed ‘The Swine’ by his men , was more interested in raiding than in transporting colonists so once he reached Roanoke Island he abandoned the colonists and took off leaving them stranded.


Fernandez was born in the Azores and served the Spanish for a time (mid 1500’s) learning to navigate around the Americas. In the 1570’s he started pirating against the Spanish while based out of Wales. His navigation experience in the Americas probably led to him being made a captain for the English expeditions even though he was a Spaniard.

Simon Fernandez

Roanoke Colony jarwes